Case No. 04-M-0464 (OES), United States District Court, District of Colorado; No. 05-1391, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
ACLU Case No. 2003-17
This lawsuit asserts that Colorado Springs violated the First Amendment when it denied a request from six peace and justice activists that they be permitted to hold signs on the public sidewalk across from the Broadmoor Hotel for one hour during the NATO conference that was held on October 8-9, 2003. For four days beginning October 7, the City blocked streets, set up barricades, and imposed an unprecedented "security zone" that extended for two full city blocks on all sides of the perimeter of the Broadmoor Hotel property. To reach their homes, residents of the "security zone" were required to pass through checkpoints staffed by police and armed military guards. Persons who did not live in the cordoned-off area and were not associated with the conference were forbidden to enter. Media representatives with pre-approved press credentials were permitted to pass through the security checkpoints. The suit charges that critics of military policy -who were forbidden to enter the "security zone" – were banished to a location three full blocks from the entrance to the conference hotel, out of sight, where the NATO delegates would not see them, hear them, or even know they were there.
After the trial, the dirtict court ruled that the challenged restrictions did not violate the First Amendment. After an appeal, the Tenth Cicuit affirmed.
Edward T. Ramey
Mark Silverstein , ACLU of Colorado Legal Director
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